Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Responsive Mode Grants
Responsive Mode Grants (RM) is the funding stream that supports excellent research in response to unsolicited ideas from research groups, consortia or individuals, in any area relevant to NERC's remit. NERC promotes unrestricted and innovative thinking; proposed research can be pure, applied or policy-driven, and must seek to address - or provide the means to address - clearly defined science questions.
Current Responsive Mode funding schemes are listed below:
Standard Grants (including New Investigator Grants)
Eligibility for the New Investigator call is restricted (see below) but beyond that the rules for the two calls are the same.
Standard Grants is an open competition for curiosity-motivated basic, strategic or applied research. Grants are for a minimum of £65,000 and a maximum of £1.2 million. The annual deadlines for this scheme are the 1 July and the 1 December. Applications must be submitted via Je-S.
Eligibility is restricted to those Investigators at the outset of their independent scientific career. Applicants must therefore be within three years of first becoming eligible for NERC funding as a Principal Investigator (account will be taken of any career breaks) and must not have previously received research funding, in excess of £15,000, as a Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator (other than as a Researcher Co-Investigator) from NERC or any other funding body in the UK or overseas.
(replace the Consortium Grant scheme from 2013)
2013 closing dates:
Outline proposals - 1 March 2013
Full proposals - tbc November 2013
Large Grants support adventurous, large-scale and complex research tackling big science questions that cannot be addressed through other NERC funding opportunities.
Large Grants are supported through responsive mode funding, but the size and nature of these awards mean that they will often incidentally have a strong strategic element.
The minimum funding level for large grant proposals is £12m, 100% (Full Economic Cost). The maximum funding level for large grant proposals is £37m, 100% (Full Economic Cost) with a duration of up to five years.
Applicants must first submit an outline proposal that will be assessed by members of the Peer Review College, plus independent experts as required. Selected proposals will then be invited to proceed to the full proposal stage.
Full proposals will be peer reviewed by international experts and the assessment process includes presentations by applicants at the moderating panel.
Full NERC guidance
NERC Urgency applications
Scheme aims: To respond rapidly to unexpected and transient scientific opportunities or events affecting the environment, for example the 2010 Amazon drought or the eruption at Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland in 2010.
Research areas covered: Urgency proposals must fall within the NERC scientific remit. Likely subjects are natural events such as earthquakes, droughts, floods or ephemeral events in ecosystem.
Who can apply? Submission of an Urgency grant proposal is only permitted if relying on published funding opportunities would clearly result in a missed opportunity to undertake environmental research of high scientific importance.
Value: Up to £65,000 fEC
Duration and commitment: Up to 12 months in duration and are expected to focus on the urgent data collection and essential initial analysis only.
Number of awards available nationally: NERC reserves the right to limit the number of Urgency proposals considered or supported relating to the same event or location. NERC will not accept more than one Urgency proposal from an individual Investigator in a 2 year period.
Past successes: Recent award on NERC Grants on the Web
Submission timeline: There are no deadlines but prospective applicants must first contact the appropriate Science Programmes Officer for approval before submitting a proposal for consideration under the urgency scheme. Up to two sides of A4 outlining the proposed work and the reasons for the urgency must be sent to the Science Programmes Officer no later than 4 weeks from the first occurrence of the scientific opportunity. Following approval, urgency proposals must be submitted to NERC via the Je-S system within 10 working days.
Other resources: More details